With the re-release of their eponymous debut album on Sub Pop, The Head and the Heart are destined to gather the attention this power folk sextet richly deserves. The sound is actually the melding of two power trios, one of three soaring vocalists and one of piano, bass and drums, into a wall of acoustic sound that ranges from a whisper to a scream. The Seattle based band who originally released this self produced disc in June of 2010 has drawn comparisons to music luminaries The Beatles, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, which are right on the mark.
Songwriters Josiah Johnson, Jonathan Russell and Kenny Hensley, give us thoughtful pastoral themes, lush harmonies and strong piano based melodies taken right out of the Lennon and McCartney songwriting guidebook. The album, which is already sporting two modest hits in “Lost in my mind,” and the terrific “Down in the Valley,” flows together as one continuous piece, the likes of which we have not heard since Abbey Road or Déjà vu.
A bravo must also be given to drummer Tyler Williams whose “what would Ringo do,” playing is perfectly focused and understated, yet full and driving. The fantastic lead piano of Hensley as exemplified on “Ghosts,” is so refreshing to hear in a pop song alongside sing along hooks. And let us not forget Charity Rose Thielen, whose demure vocals and violin make the perfect foil to the strong male sounds.
The Head and the Heart is full of a maturity rarely found in a debut, which bodes well for a bright future for a group now getting its due.
Originally published in Innocent Words: www.innocentwords.com
Rick J Bowen